Vietnamese Authorities Crack Down On Illegal Use of PI Network For Hotel Payments

A hotel in Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam, was forced to stop accepting payment in the digital currency PI Network. According to the hotel’s listing, PI was accepted as payment, with room rates ranging from VND 350,000 ($15) to VND 550,000 ($23), and converted into 0.15 or 0.24 PI. Each extra bed was priced at VND 150,000, or 0.1 PI.

On March 7, a representative from the Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Binh Thuan Province said they had coordinated with the local police to require the hotel to stop listing and accepting payment in PI.

The PI payment board of the hotel.

Earlier, on social media, there was a buzz about Minh Tam hotel on Tran Hung Dao Street (Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province) publicly listing and accepting payment in PI, alongside Vietnam’s national currency.

According to the listing, room rates at the hotel range from VND 350,000 to VND 550,000 and were converted into 0.15 or 0.24 PI, with a note below stating “1 PI = VND 2.3 million ($100)” and payment via PI being available from Monday to Friday each week.

The representative from the Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Binh Thuan Province said that, after receiving reports, the unit had coordinated with the Cybersecurity Department and High-tech Crime Prevention Department (Binh Thuan Police) to inspect Minh Tam hotel regarding its payment via PI. Through the inspection, the authorities determined that the hotel had listed and accepted payment in PI since February 24, 2023. After the authorities worked with the hotel, it stopped accepting payment in PI from March 1 and removed the listing.

PI Network was established in 2019. In Vietnam, PI once caused a stir and attracted many participants by creating accounts and “mining” for free on mobile phones using the PI Network app. The use of digital currency as payment in Vietnam is currently not legal.

What is Pi Network

Pi Network is a unique digital currency that combines aspects of an app, multi-level marketing (MLM), and cryptocurrency mining. Unlike other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin which require significant processing power, Pi Network is mined directly on your phone. The mining process involves tapping a button on the Pi Network app once a day to receive Pi coin vouchers. However, this process is not actual crypto mining since you’re not verifying transactions.

To sign up for Pi Network, you need an invitation code from an existing member due to the referral system it uses. The more people that register with your invitation code, the more coins you can earn. The Pi coins you earn are stored in the app and cannot be withdrawn, sold, or exchanged for other cryptocurrencies. However, the Pi Network website states that in the third phase of its roadmap, the mainnet launch will allow for these actions.

Pi Network’s unique combination of features has garnered significant attention, with many people jumping at the chance to mine cryptocurrency on their phones. However, it’s important to note that the use of digital currencies like Pi for payments is still illegal in many countries, including Vietnam. Therefore, it’s essential to be cautious when investing in or using Pi Network. The app is still in development, and its future remains uncertain.

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